home  |  book  |  blogs  |   RSS  |  contact  |
The Blank Page of History Two Kinds of Chess

print view

Why the West Won't Win Against Islam

by Christopher Chantrill
September 10, 2006 at 12:31 pm

WE ALL KNOW that we will win the war against Islamic fascism. Or will we? Author David Selbourne sets out ten reasons why, as things stand, Islam will not be defeated. Selbourne is author of the book The Losing Battle with Islam.

  1. Disagreement in the non-Muslim world about what is really going on.
  2. The nature of Islam is misunderstood. It is not a religion. “It is a transnational political and ethical movement that believes that it holds the solution to mankind’s problems.”
  3. “[T]he low level of Western leadership, in particular in the United States.
  4. “[T]he egotistical competitiveness... of “experts” and commentators on Islam, from “Islamophobes” to “academic apologists.”
  5. “[T]he confusion of ‘progressives’ about the Islamic advance,” viewing Muslims through the lens of colonialism and multiculturalism.
  6. “[T]he vicarious satisfaction felt by many non-Muslims at America’s reverses.”
  7. “[T]he moral poverty of the West’s, and especially America’s, own value system.” Obedience to Allah will beat freedom and liberty.
  8. The skill and effectiveness of Muslim media and propaganda.
  9. The dependency of the West on the Middle East’s oil resources.
  10. The notion that “technology-driven modernity and market-driven progress are innately superior to the ideals of ‘backward’ Islam.”

The clarity and the forcefulness of these ideas are helpful in thinking about what the West must do to counter the Muslim threat.

But the biggest thing to think about is the lesson of the Enlightenment.

The great Enlightenment thinkers in the eighteenth century were trying to find a path out of the brutal religious wars of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Their solution was to back off from the search for the good, the true, and the beautiful. They proposed instead a society in which these absolutes were removed from the public square into the private realm. In politics we would be content with the fairly good, the true enough, and the merely pretty.

The result, of course, was the staggering prosperity revolution of global capitalism. It was when the West abandoned the Islamic notion of a “transnational political and ethical movement that believes that it holds the solution to mankind’s problems” that it began its breathtaking climb to world domination.

|

Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.  His Road to the Middle Class is forthcoming.


 TAGS


Action

The incentive that impels a man to act is always some uneasiness... But to make a man act [he must have] the expectation that purposeful behavior has the power to remove or at least to alleviate the felt uneasiness.
Ludwig von Mises, Human Action


Chappies

“But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.”  —Freddy Arbuthnot
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison


China and Christianity

At first, we thought [the power of the West] was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system. But in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity.
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing


Churches

[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm


Civil Society

“Civil Society”—a complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churches—builds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust


Class War

In England there were always two sharply opposed middle classes, the academic middle class and the commercial middle class. In the nineteenth century, the academic middle class won the battle for power and status... Then came the triumph of Margaret Thatcher... The academics lost their power and prestige and... have been gloomy ever since.
Freeman Dyson, “The Scientist as Rebel”


Conservatism

Conservatism is the philosophy of society. Its ethic is fraternity and its characteristic is authority — the non-coercive social persuasion which operates in a family or a community. It says ‘we should...’.
Danny Kruger, On Fraternity


Conservatism's Holy Grail

What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph


Conversion

“When we received Christ,” Phil added, “all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.”
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh


Democratic Capitalism

I mean three systems in one: a predominantly market economy; a polity respectful of the rights of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and a system of cultural institutions moved by ideals of liberty and justice for all. In short, three dynamic and converging systems functioning as one: a democratic polity, an economy based on markets and incentives, and a moral-cultural system which is plural and, in the largest sense, liberal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism


Drang nach Osten

There was nothing new about the Frankish drive to the east... [let] us recall that the continuance of their rule depended upon regular, successful, predatory warfare.
Richard Fletcher, The Barbarian Conversion


Education

“We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.”
E. G. West, Education and the State


mysql close

 

©2007 Christopher Chantrill